User reviews are now an important part of the way we decide whether to make an online purchase or not. Today I am pleased to bring you an infographic and article from

In italics, I have added some of my own experiences too, and hope you'll comment with your own thoughts about user reviews and how they affect your purchasing decisions.

Do You Take Account Of User Reviews?

Online reviews help us decide where/what to eat, what to watch, what to buy and what to sell. They have become an integral part of who we are as consumers and business owners. They have a huge impact on how well businesses do or don’t do. They have become the go-to way to make decisions about places we have never been and with the seemingly endless amount of options we have as consumers nowadays, they are one of the only ways to narrow down our choices as consumers. The infographic below shows how consumers read and use online review sites in numbers.

Facts: 68% of millennials trust online reviews most, as opposed to 34% who trust television advertisement and on average they produce an uprise of 18% in sales. In addition, 90% of consumers read less than 10 reviews before forming an opinion about a business which means these decisions being made are made quickly, without much hesitation. My own opinion is that I pay no attention to TV adverts…. I just fast-forward past them, whereas an online review is something I will have actively sought out.

Impact Of Reviews

Online reviews have a huge impact on both businesses and consumers. The impact can be positive or negative. For example, for every star a business gets in their rating, their sales revenue will increase by approximately 5-9%. At the same time, 22% of consumers will not purchase a product after reading just one negative review about it. While I do take notice of negative reviews, it would take more than one to stop me buying – always assuming there were more positive reviews than negative!

Impact of reviews by industry: The top five industries to be affected negatively by online reviews are:

  • Restaurants
  • Hotels
  • Doctors' offices
  • Hospitals
  • Hair salons

Travel, Health, Restaurants & Jobs: User reviews are used widely by travelers and 59% of consumers say that review sites have the most influence on their booking decisions. Another industry where online reviews are extremely present is the health industry. A whopping 84% of patients say that they use online reviews to evaluate doctors. In addition, restaurants are another industry where online reviews are highly prominent. 61% of consumers have read online reviews about restaurants. This is more than any other business. Lastly, when people are searching for a job, it has been found that 83% of these job seekers are likely to base their decision on where to apply on company reviews and 76% of professionals claim to research a company online before considering a job opportunity.

Best online review sites by industry: There are tons of online review sites in the internet world but they are not all created equal. The best online review site is also different depending on what is being reviewed. For jobs, Glassdoor is in the top spot. For tech, CNET Radio is best. For hotels and motels, Trip Advisor is your best bet. For movies, IMDB. For restaurants, Yelp is number one and for health, Zocdoc comes in first.

Case study analysis: Through some case study analysis we found out just why some of these websites are the best. We found that restaurants that boost their Yelp rating by one star can increase their revenues by 5% to 9%. Furthermore, 98% of consumers found that TripAdvisor hotel reviews accurately reflected their actual experience and 61% of Glassdoor users report that they seek company reviews and ratings before making a decision to apply for a job. That surprised me, but it makes complete sense!

Influence of social media on online reviews: It has become quite apparent that social media has a huge influence on consumers nowadays. In fact, 55% of consumers use Facebook as a place to learn more about brands and when retailers replied to negative reviews on social media and online ratings sites, a third of customers either deleted their original negative review or even replaced it with a positive review.

Fake Reviews

A common misconception about online reviews is that they are all genuine reviews. This is simply not the case. Only 27% of consumers will trust an online review if they think it is authentic even though a whopping 30% of online reviews may be fake. In fact, New York regulators settled with 19 companies for $350,000 in total fines in a crackdown on fake reviews.

My User Reviews Experiences

In general I have been happy when using user reviews online to help my purchase decisions.

However, last year I had a situation where I hired a tradesman from a well-known UK site on the basis of his good reviews. I had a terrible experience with him. Perhaps the reviews were fake, or perhaps he got complacent and “went bad”. Whatever happened, several months later the company emailed me to say they had removed him from the site. By then I had wasted many hours and suffered much stress. My own truthful review of his lack of service was never published. The longer-lasting effect is that I no longer use that ratings site. 

The other way that reviews can be false is when you give an honest, but unfavorable, review and the company gets it taken down. This happened to me a year ago – I submitted photos to support my claim, but they were never published. Just a couple of weeks ago a friend was badly treated at a hotel (one she had previously enjoyed staying at). She left a completely factual review, and the review site didn't publish it.

I hope your experiences of user reviews have been better. Please share in the comments after the infographic.

The infographic was produced by and is used with their permission.

Your User Reviews Thoughts Please…

I hope you found the above infographic on user reviews interesting. I know I did – thanks to for permission to use it.

Please share your own experiences and opinions of user reviews, both offline and online.